Implementation of Anticapitalism

    Anticapitalism may be implemented at three levels: 1. Personal 2. Business 3. Community-wide The following sections describe some of the approaches to implementing Anticapitalism in whole or in part at each of the three levels.

    Personal Anticapitalism

    The principles of Anticapitalism are the same at a personal level but the constraints are severe. One must minimize expenses and maximize free time. This can mean accepting poverty as a daily reality. The free time is used to better oneself or one’s living environment.

    Instead of spending on prepackaged food and restaurants, one could spend more time in food preparation. Simple bulk foods like rice, beans, vegetables, etc. can be used to cook delicious meals if one takes the time. It is possible to spend less than $1 a day and eat plenty of excellent food. A vegetable garden and canning and help reduce costs. With an acre or two of land one can feed an entire family – this was true in Roman times and it is still true today. Even a half acre, well-tended, can feed a family year-round.

    One of the best approaches to personal Anticapitalism is to buy a cheap property in an agricultural or economically depressed area, like a dead farm or an old farmhouse with a couple acres, and continuously build it up. A large vegetable garden can provide all the food, and if there’s enough forest, a wood-burning stove may provide enough heat.

    A mode of minimal costs if possible by getting a small lot with a small home or trailer where the monthly payment (say a 40 year loan for a property of $30,000) will amount to very little. With remaining utilities at about $100 a month, an annual income of $10,000 or less may prove sufficient. Indeed, this mode of existence is quite common in rural areas across the country, with part-time workers, truck drivers, the mostly-unemployed, people on social security, and others. Living like trailer trash and wasting time is, however, not the object – the object is to continuously improve one’s personal environment. The anticapitalist doesn’t spend much time drinking bottled beer and watching mindless TV shows, or driving to and fro every day burning gas – his existential pleasures are more rewarding, like watching his home grow with every daily bit of work.

    Expansion of a small home is essential to provide enough comfortable healthy space both for living and for whatever it is the individual would like to do with their lives – whether it is farming, writing books, painting, consulting work, repairman, or operating a website. Worksheds, expanded garages, added rooms for office space, greenhouses, storage rooms, etc. all amount to investment of one’s labor in their own assets and their own infrastructure.

    Ultimately, building an entirely new house is the best long-term plan. A house should be built from the ground up and with expansion potential. It should be of solid structural design and built to last. There is much information available on building your own house, especially in relation to green building technology, and self-sustainability, or zero-energy buildings. Stone, brick, packed earth, and other strong materials are to be preferred over lumber, but lumber construction may be the easiest to accomplish without power equipment. A lumber home can still be built by one or two people that is far superior to the mass-produced variety, and at a lower cost, if it is built simply and with attention to quality.

    The log cabin situated deep in the woods is one approach, such as Henry David Thoreau attempted on Walden Pond, and this might be suitable for those preferring solitude and total self-sufficiency. Most people are obliged to earn income through capitalist means regardless of their situation, but earning income at the subsistence level can hardly be called profit-mongering.

    Stop driving. Is it really necessary to drive every single day? If you’re self-employed or unemployed or whatever, consider what you drive for if you drive every day. Food? Entertainment? Cigarettes and beer? Visiting friends? If shopping can be reduced to minimal levels, then it can be limited to one day a week or less. The habit of driving every day is costly in many ways. Mostly, it's a waste of time.

    Don’t buy new cars. Buy an old reliable used car and use it minimally, but maintain it well. A 20 year old car in good condition can last another 20 years, especially if driven infrequently and stored in a garage or carport. If you are embarrassed to be driving a beater (like millions of others) you can spend time customizing it. This is a form of investing one’s labor for one’s own benefit. Such interests are a personal choice and can depend on one’s abilities also, or the available equipment.

    Accumulate useful tools and learn to do your own home repairs. Avoid the kind of junk tools that are sold for profit. At least, you should think bigger. Table saws, used even, are better than cheap circular saws, although you may need both. Having a well-stocked workshop is most useful and although it can be expensive, it is also an ever-growing asset that will likely pay for itself in the long run. Develop a home skill with which you can barter. Develop essential products that you can trade. You can always trade vegetables at harvest time and get more variety of vegetables. Information on self-sufficiency, energy independence and sustainability, home construction, and all related matters is widely available from other sources and these should be consulted for more ideas.

    Corporate Anticapitalism

    A corporation can declare itself nonprofit within the existing economic structure, but it may have to buy back its stock since the delivery of profits to nonworking entities is contrary to anticapitalist principles. A fully-owned corporation, owned by the executives or by the employees, can begin the trek towards profitless sustainability by a series of internal changes and developments. Nonessential expenses like advertising must be eliminated. Pay scales must be adjusted to fit a normal bell curve. Existing profits, if any, need to be converted into reduced product prices, and expansion of production facilities and hiring. The focus on advertising should be replaced by a focus on quality. Quality products will boost their onw sales.

    Attempts should be made to obtain single-source suppliers that are of the profitless kind. An isolated profitless business, however, may be at the mercy of profit-oriented suppliers and should make every attempt to free itself from such dependence. Nevertheless, even an incomplete implementation of anticapitalism should still produce business growth.

    Initially, the reduction of price should produce a gradual increase in sales, regardless of the absence of advertising. Gradual improvement in quality will further promote sales. Switching to higher volume packaging (rather than the current trend in which the package often costs more than the product) will reduce costs and improve efficiency.

    As the sales volume is increased towards the rising level of demand, salaries increase in measured proportion. The entire bell curve of salaries will float in an upwards direction as it expands outwards to encompass new employees. As the business expanded it may render competing companies unconcompetitive, which may necessitate buying out the other company for expansion purposes, or may induce the other company to go profitless. Two profitless companies selling exactly the same product would not be obliged to compete against each other (there's no profit in it) but would either come to a suitable arrangement or merge, which would make the most sense. A company that grew until it provided a particular product to every single person the country would reach a steady state, and from then on it could focus entirely on efficiency and quality. A profitless monopoly is no monopoly at all since it totally benefits the people and does not in any way exploit anyone, unlike the traditional monopolies whose sole purpose is to exploit the people to the max.

    Great market and job stability would be provided and without an employee turnover it would become economically beneficial to the company to provide the health care, pensions, and other rights that are increasingly being denied to employees of profit-oriented businesses. Ultimately, it would be of most benefit to a profitless corporation to venture into ownership of housing and other products such that it may assist the employees in their own economic independence. This, of course, verges on becoming community-wide anticapitalism.

    Community-Wide Anticapitalism

    The most efficient and productive form of anticapitalism will always be a community-wide implementation in which labor hours are exchanged among the people or the employees. In the corporate community model, each resident is a contracted to the corporation (either as employee or independently employed resident), and his expenses are the corporations expenses. Labor hours are valued and exchanged under management control. Management decides how much a construction worker's labor is worth in terms of food, and other necessities. In effect, this would be no different from the current "dollar" system, which has roughly stabilized hourly wages (of workers) in such a manner that it is simple to assign the value of each person's labor.

    The construction worker, for example, builds homes and other facilities and in return he receives lifelong residence in one of the homes that perhaps he himself helped build. In his free time, which should be eventually abundant, he may expand and improve his existing home indefinitely. In fact, there will be no end to construction and improvement -- even when everyone is properly and comfortably housed, construction of infrastructure would be continual, including mass transportation, covered roads, underground roads and facilities, agricultural facilities, new manufacturing, etc. When everyone works together to continuously improve their own environment, instead of just improving the profits of the leisure class, everyone benefits in an immediate and direct manner. Cooperation, not competition, provides the best possible life for all.

    In the beginning stages of a community-wide conversion to anticapitalist economics, the focus needs to be on housing, food, and other essentials. A massive construction phase would be entered into in which the object would be to provide structurally solid, comfortable, energy-efficient, healthy housing for every single member of the community. Depending on the size of the community, such a project would perhaps employ the majority of people for a number of years, or even decades. Housing must be built to last indefinitely -- that is, a basic set of designs must be used in which the structure is impervious to destruction or deterioration, and which can be retrofit and refurbished, perhaps every century. At some point, the number of completed houses will match the number of residents and housing construction can taper off until it merely meets the new demand. The new demand will consist of new residents, births, etc. and refurbishing or expanding older housing. Obviously, the accumulated wealth of such continuous construction is going to be passed on to future generations, and these generations will make their own contributions, that will themselves be passed on. The community as a whole becomes wealthy by inheritance of these assests and their time is freed up to explore new avenues of improvement, rather than being stuck in pointless economic stagnation and inheriting nothing of what the previous one thousand generations of humans has, or could have, left the world.

    The initial period of construction makes up for what the society should have done, but failed to do, and after which the requirement for labor hours will decrease. This is an important concept -- in the long run daily labor hours will decrease rather than increase as they do in our present system. This is due to the accummulated wealth of the community. Consider the fact that the cheap housing being built for nothing more than first profits today will, in due time, become uninhabitable and will be torn down, only to be replaced by yet another architectural and moral abomination of the profit motive. The labor spent on such profiteering is wasted -- it may pass on to a generation or two but in the end all the construction effort is lost to future generations. When proper, solid and lasting housing is constructed it will remain an asset almost indefinitely. If the pyramid builders had been under enlightened direction, they would have all built themselves huge, beautiful, massive stone houses that would still exist today, providing housing to all their descendants. If each subsequent generation had done the same, Egypt might effectively be one of the wealthiest nations on earth today. Instead, they live in poverty, disease, crime, and unrest, while huge and gratuitous monuments up and down the Nile bear witness to the extraordinary waste of labor that the human race has been subject to since the beginning. How much better it would have been to build gargantuan-syle housing first, and then build vain monuments. Although the Ancient Egyptians were far from being the harshest or most exploitative governments in history, having provided their people a peaceful existence with abundant free time and food for thousands of years, the single devotion to monument building by their rulers in preference to the people's needs marks them as exploiters for all eternity to see. The current devotion to profit as a paradigm will also leave our Age in the same light.

    As shown in the image below, the labor of the Egyptians could have been put to much better use in building homes out of the same materials. These homes would be passed on to subsequent generations. If each generation had performed the same amount of construction, all Egyptians today would be living like Pharaohs instead of most living like beggars. If they had built the homes first, they could still have built the pyramids, but the misdirection of their labor showed that they had lost all perspective on what is important. The Egyptians built monuments to the fancy of their kings. Today's workers build monuments to the icon of profit, and they too have lost all perspective on what is important.

    Initially, weekly working hours could vary from 20-40 for individuals, as there is limited need for anyone to 'push' for more money. People may be more likely to work the minimum number of hours, whatever that may be, and spend more time improving their own houses or lives. In the long run this also contriubutes to community wealth -- and no labor is wasted. Since construction is continuous, there's no serious need to madly rush to complete a project, sacrificing quality and health in the mean time as is done now. In any event, the requirement for weekly hours will tend to decrease over time, without impacting living standards. The profit is always in the work itself. The payback comes in non-monetary terms. The change in living conditions will be profound and continuously rewarding.

    For more information see The Circle City Concept. (Under construction - More later.)


since October 2006
Questions? Comments? Send email to W. J. Kowalski at drkowalski"at"  
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